U.S. Carbines in Germany and Austria

U.S. M1 Carbine

The Gendarmerie: Upper Austria (OberÖsterreich)

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The Gendarmerie
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In 1958 the population of the Austrian state of OberÖsterreich (Upper Austria) was 1,109,200. Upper Austria is 11,978.45 sq. kilometers (7443 sq miles). The capitol of Upper Austria is Linz.

In 1958 the Gendarmerie of Upper Austria was headquartered in Linz with regional commands in:

  • Linz (166 personnel in 21 posts)
  • Steyr (207 personnel in 35 posts)
  • Ried im Innkreis (182 personnel in 31 posts)
  • Gmunden (293 personnel in 40 posts)
  • Wels (288 personnel in 48 posts)
  • Urfahr (207 personnel in 37 posts)
  • Freistadt (193 personnel in 33 posts)
  • [Almanach der österreichischen Bundesgendarmerie, 1958]

    LGKOÖ U.S. M1 Carbines

    LGK OÖ

    Landes Gendarmerie Kommando OberÖsterreich

    A large percentage of the carbines used by OberÖsterreich (Upper Austria) have been refinished and polished to a bright shiny blue. The polishing is deep enough that it has often removed some or all of the U.S. markings on the barrel and/or receiver. There is a possibility this was not done by anyone in Austria. During the American Occupation of Germany, the U.S. Office of Military Government for the German state of Hessen ordered Hessen police to remove the carbine's U.S. markings, instead of marking the carbines with letters identifying Hessen. The disposition of Hessen's carbines is not known. Like all of the other agencies in Germany and Austria that used U.S. M1 Carbines, some of the Hessen agencies added their own distinctive marking(s). One of these were the letters HE-M on the recoil plate. One of the CMP carbines with the markings of Upper Austria on the trigger housing had a recoil plate with these markings. It was not possible to examine all of the CMP carbines used by Upper Austria for other Hessen markings. Your assistance is requested should you find similar markings on ANY carbine.

    Recoil plate marked by a police agency in the German State of Hessen.
    Anyone finding these markings on any carbine is requested to please contact me.
    The carbines polished to the point the markings removed may have come from Hessen.

    U.S. M1 Carbines used by the Gendarmerie in Upper Austria generally have one of three primary marking patterns.

    The first is unique to Upper Austria and has not been found on any other carbines in Austria. These are the markings found on the Upper Austria carbines that have been polished bright blue. A number between 1 and 10 was selected for a carbine, 7 for example, and the number was etched or stamped on the following parts: in the top of the bolt by the lugs, on the front or back of the front sight, on the side or bottom of the barrel band, on the barrel band retention spring, on the slide rail, inside the bottom of the handguard, inside the slingwell, and sometimes on the bottom of the receiver on the front trigger housing lug. How the number was selected is not known. The purpose appears to be the same reason for placing any number on the various parts, keeping them together on the same carbine.

    The second pattern of marking the carbines was placing the entire serial number inside the slingwell, on the underside of the handguard, and etched on top of the bolt.

    Less common are the Upper Austria carbines that have the last four digits of the serial number stamped inside the slingwell and etched on the bottom of the bayonet lug.

    The inventory numbers are still being evaluated to determine the highest number. If a carbine with the Upper Austria Gendarmerie markings is in the USA, it was returned by Austria to the U.S. Army and turned over to the Civilian Marksmanship Program in 2008. These carbines have no import marks.

    LGKOÖ Browning High Power